The Children’s Friend – Variations for Brass Band (Wilfred Heaton)
The Children’s Friend is one of three works that Wilfred Heaton composed with the Salvation Army’s Second (later Triumph) Series Journal in mind. Music in four or five parts was the norm and there were just two B flat cornets and two parts for E flat horns. Though dating from his 20s or 30s, the manuscript upon which this edition is based is in the elegant calligraphy of his later years.
Wilfred Heaton’s theme is the ‘gentle lilting tune’ In Memoriam by that most quintessential of Victorian composers Sir John Stainer (1840-1901). It is associated with the children’s hymn by A. Midlane, beginning, “There’s a Friend for Little Children”.
Heaton’s beautifully proportioned treatment starts with the innocence of the opening two-fold statement of Stainer’s melody. An incisive, jaunty march follows. The impassioned intensity of the Adagio variation recalls similar moments in works of the same vintage Just as I am and Celestial Prospect . The final returns to the calm reflective mood of the opening.
In this performing edition, Heaton’s text has been preserved, but some additional parts (flugelhorn and percussion, including timps) and cues (in baritone, trombone and euphonium parts) have been included for larger performances by larger or more traditionally constituted bands.
Duration: 7 mins
£ 45 plus postage and packing